Six elephants killed by poachers in queen Elizabeth national park
The counts of six elephants are recorded to have been lost in the month of September in the Uganda safari destination of Queen Elizabeth National Park according to the reports presented by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Elephants which are among the big five of the land animals are notable wildlife resources always explored by travelers on safaris in Uganda. Thus such occurrences do not threaten the continuity of biodiversity but also the flourishing of wildlife tourism in Uganda. It is a compete barrier to conservation efforts of the species that risk extinction.
The poachers range from the ordinary to the sophisticated ones who are at times in possession of fire arms. The major interest is about ivory whose value and demand is high both local and international. This practice also endangers the rangers who live in the park since the enemy is armed and can shoot in case of any confrontation.
Encroaching the park for bush meat, agriculture and unauthorized firewood correction is restricted by Uganda Wildlife Authority. The politicians in the surrounding communities who use propaganda and end up supporting the poachers alleging that Uganda Wildlife Authority officials kill the locals with impunity also have a share to blame regarding such tragic occurrences. In fact the park warden notes that two of the Uganda Wildlife Authority staff are being detained on allegations of 30 local people missing in Kasese who are thought to have disappeared in the park something that he calls propaganda by the local politicians.
The local communities have not been in good terms with the park management accusing them of encroaching on community land. The warden expresses his willingness to dialogue with the local people who have such accusations especially those in Kahendero and Katunguru.
Queen Elizabeth National Park shares borders with the districts of Kasese, Rukungiri, Mitooma, Kamwenge, Ibanda, Rubirizi and Kanungu districts. The park is the second largest in Uganda and the most popular visited park on Uganda safaris. It presents a myriad of tourist activities ranging from wild game viewing to boat cruise along the Kazinga channel, the chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge, forest walk in Maramagambo forest, the salt lake tour in Katwe explosion crater and the extensive birding opportunities since it has the highest bird species in Uganda.
Despite the Uganda Wildlife Authority continues engagement of the communities that surround these protected areas, poaching is still a problem as a considerable number of people surrounding these areas still depend on the parks for survival including food, income and medicine. Enhancing of community participatory approach is one of the ways to decrease this vice.